06 July 2011
state of louisiana vs mary henderson trahan: 3rd circuit reverses 2nd degree murder convicton; orders acquittal
an accidental shooting made into a 2nd degree murder case out of lafayette, la. it's unclear why the victim came to be shot other than references by the prosecution and defense in opening and closing statements to an abusive relationship of which the 3rd circuit said the state never presented evidence that the relationship was acrimonious.
the autopsy toxicology analysis revealed that the victim had "amphetamine, methamphetamine, and MDMA [ecstasy] in his urine at the time of death."
the third circuit found that the evidence presented at trial "was insufficient for a finding of specific intent to support a verdict of second degree murder." and that "the evidence was also insufficient to convict the defendant of any of the lesser responsive verdicts of manslaughter or negligent homicide."
our own associate justice, shannon gremillion, dissented, writing that while the evidence did not support the 2nd degree murder verdict -- it did support a verdict of negligent homicide, mostly because "there was no dispute at trial that defendant pulled the trigger."
Posted by wst... at 10:30